Saturday, June 8, 2019

Mortal Kombat 11 (All Systems, 2019)

I mean, it's on lots of systems, PS4 is the one I'm playing on. Alternate dimensions and meeting your past self are all the rage in our entertainment these days, and this game is no exception. Considering it came out the same week as Avengers: Endgame, it shares a lot of koncepts with that movie.



We've got a lot of options here. You've got the traditional towers where you fight a bunch of random opponents in a row, plus a 4-ish hour story mode.

The roster is pretty robust at this point. The crazy thing is that the old Mortal Kombat games started and ended with their towers. That was it for single-player gameplay.

The first thing that jumps out about this game: The visuals. They're far beyond every other game in this series.

Kitana MURDERS THE CAMERAMAN with her blade-fan.

Fan spin of death! The camera zooms in on some of the bigger moves. It's quasi-3D, a trend started with MKIV on the N64. That said, I couldn't have imagined graphics like this back in the N64 days.

The iconic "FINISH HIM" has returned. I like to do something super-lame like throw a low punch.

Kitana's knee-lift when throwing fans has been my favorite Mortal Kombat move since MKII.

When you finish a traditional tower as a character, you get a traditional ending. All of them involve time-travel, since winning this tournament gives the winner time-travel powers.

Kitana's ending has her going back in time to keep her homeland of Edenia from falling into ruin and becoming Outworld.

She then hangs out on the Iron Throne and teaches young people to fight while a Wrestlemania-sized crowd looks on.

Onward to the actual story mode.

This is moody and atmospheric right off the bat, and makes me wish we'd get a new Mortal Kombat movie. Luckily for me, there's one on the way.

THESE VISUALS THOUGH

The story begins with Shinnok's severed head on a table. Wasn't this guy a major villain in the earlier Mortal Kombats? I feel very out of the loop. I stopped paying attention after MKIII.

The first chapter of Story Mode has us on a miltary base.

Here, you play as Cassie Cage, the offspring of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. How? No, I mean like, how did she ever get together with that dude?

...OH. He's a Miz-like movie star, that goes a long way.

It just me or does Sonya look younger and hotter than Cassie?

Earth's Special Forces investigate the house from Resident Evil.

The signature ultra-violence is back and bloodier than ever! A lot of these moves make you wonder how the character isn't completely dead, like this one where Cassie SHOOTS HER OPPONENT. With a giant kryptonite bullet, no less.

At the end of chapter 1, Sonya - spoiler alert - gets killed. It's a super-emotional moment for everybody...until a little while later when they go back in time and Sonya is still alive there and it's like nothing happened. Future Sonya is no more, however.

Next, our heroes visit the land of Mordor. Said with an Aragorn accent.

Here's the actual villain of this game, Kronika. ::giddy giggling is heard::

She's a Time Mage. No word on if she's also a fan of the ganjaweed.

In any case, meeting her sets into motion a chain of events where our heroes get taken...back to the past.

This means meeting their past selves. Here's Older Johnny Cage meeting Younger Johnny Cage. On the right is Cassie, on the left is Younger Sonya. Here she's closer to the age of her daughter. This is, of course, super-weird for the older characters because they just lost her in their timeline.

Time-travel also means they can bring back literally everybody from the earlier games. Shao Khan has a weirdly monster-ish chest here. In the old games he had a very human chest and didn't look like a monster.

Rayden, unfortunately not played by Christopher Lambert, is here to unleash lightning bolts.

This might be a callback to Deadly Alliance, one of the many Mortal Kombats I didn't play.

Here's Skarlet, a character I'm not familiar with*. She's hawt.

* This is going to continue to be a thing.

Speaking of hawt, Jade is amazingly gorgeous in this. For some reason she's in a relationship with Kotal Kahn. I thought he was Shao Kahn's son, but apparently he's just a general who took over after Shao Kahn fell from power.


Jade, unf. After she says this, he goes "no other woman was you". DAAAAAAAAMN.

Next thing we know, Shao Kahn announces that he's invading Russia! Is that really the best idea?

Kotal Kahn gets to be the one to beat Shao Kahn this time around. Surprised to see this fight so early in the game, as if they're clearing the deck for new ideas.

The past version of the Shaolin Monks.

They get to find out how their future selves died and it makes for some awkward conversation.

Rayden gets a mission from the Elder Gods. He's got to get the heroes together so they can take on Kronika.

THE KRONIKA.

We get a particularly cool chapter with pre-crisis Sub-Zero and pre-dead Scorpion. They were master assassins of the Lin Kuei.

Scorpion bears a striking resemblance to an Uso Brother.

I always thought Cyrax was a robo Scorpion, since Scorpion was missing from the game Cyrax debuted in (MKIII). Not so much. Here they are on the same screen.

This is an interesting subplot, as Sub-Zero and Scorpion refuse to go through with the Lin Kuei's new initiative of turning themselves into robots. Here's Noob Saibot.

The good ones weren't the only ones to go Back To The Past. Future Kano is here, and he's ready to form an alliance of bastards with Past Kano.

Also, Future Kano is none other than indy wrestling standout AUSTIN ARIES.

austin aries
WTF.

I hope he got royalties for this game.

Kronika's daughter is the Poison Ivy esque Cetrion. She's also Shinnok's sister. What a tangled web!

Past Sonya is working on computer stuff and being creeped on by...

...TWO JOHNNIES. As if one wasn't already the worst.

Old Johnny takes Young Johnny to task for his disrespectful attitude towards Sonya, and Younger Johnny offers up this bit of Dad-Wisdom. Older Johnny then points out that their father was an asshole.

I think Older Johnny is amazed that Sonya ever got together with him back then. This would probably be a really common sentiment if people could jump back in time like this.

Of course, this inevitably leads to JOHNNY VERSUS JOHNNY. For all the marbles!

As Older Johnny, I proceed to punch Young Johnny in the groin as much as humanly possible. NO MORE CASSIE! HAW HAW!

He then punches Kano in the groin! CRACK!

Unfortunately, dick-punching only wins most battles, and the Kanos emerge victorious thanks to Older Kano's resourcefulness.

Who? What? Is that Sheeva?

Meanwhile, Skarlet hungers for Jade's blood.

The core hero-group hasn't changed much all these years.

A few fan throws (w/ sexy knee lift) later and Skarlet is defeated. We barely knew ye.

Shao Kahn: Somehow still around. Now he's equipped with his extra-large Thor hammer.

He unleashes Lex Luger's Torture Rack on Kotal Kahn! That's the second wrestling reference. There are probably some I'm forgetting too.

Story mode dictates that Kitana be the one to fight Shao Kahn this time. That's more like it!

He has the same charge-based offense as he did in the past, only now with added 3D zooming.

Later, story mode takes you to Shang Tsung's Island. This is of course the setting of the first movie, the gathering place of the world's fighters.

Next up, lots of shooting as our heroes deal with the Terminator-like onslaught of...

...Kano, who now has A DAMN MINIGUN!

Somewhere in there Johnny Cage gets shot in the arm. It's just the shot in the arm (...) he needs to be a little more humble with the woman he's been stalking.

Meanwhile, Jax spends quality family time with his daughter, Jacqui Briggs. One thing this game does well: Character development and bonding moments. It's a more grown-up MK.

OH SNAP, it's the original MK emblem falling apart on Shang Tsung's Island. Is this the last vestige of the old?

If that background looks familiar, it should. It's the tournament stage from the very first game in the series.

Here's Goro's lair, complete with...Goro? petrified in the background.

We also get a sweet cutscene with our heroes fighting thousands of goons on a bridge.

Shang Tsung's Island also shows up in Krypt Mode, as does...

...OH MY GOD. It's the real Shang Tsung.

Here's Past Scorpion Vs. Present Scorpion.

Young Scorpion: "My future self and me! My future self and meeeee!"

Rayden puts Liu Kang to the test.

His electric attacks look particularly rad here, in the raddest-looking of MKs.

So she's basically like an evil Doctor Strange. Which figures because she looks just like the bald lady from Doctor Strange.

So every time Liu Kang has to fight Rayden for real, he dies? If I were Liu Kang I'd be going "now wait a second" right about now.

Whatever, DOCTOR.

For the final chapter, Liu Kang ascends to his Liu Kang Super S form...

...Fire God Liu Kang. He now has the power of both himself and Rayden.

Fire God Liu Kang is the single most powerful character in the MK series. Not sure why they didn't just do this earlier to annihilate Shao Kahn all those years ago.

He leads the liberation army of Earth against the minions of Outworld and Kronika.

This also means he has to defeat the undead future versions of himself, Kung Lao, and Kitana.

"I'm OP AF" he says. This really IS an MK from 2019!

Cetrion is the penultimate fight. She's like some sort of Indian death-goddess.

At last, Fire God Liu Kang sends Kronika to fucking Narnia with a barrage of flying kicks, and I've officially won Mortal Kombat 11.

Kronika turns to shattered gems, our heroes go back to their correct times, and...

...everything gets wrapped up in a neat bow. Well, that was a fun game.

As credits roll, we get this cool background of Sonya and/or Cassie kicking Kano in the groin so hard that his entire spine gets launched out of his body.

Oh, MK.



1 comment:

  1. Looks like things are going better for Jade than in Shaolin Monks, at least.

    Whoa, I did not see Fire God Liu Kang coming. What a cool looking game.

    ReplyDelete